Polish posse proves popular

Wakefield Polish Association outgrow their current base at the GMB office building, College Grove. The association currently gives English lessons to 60 people, with at least another 100 on the waiting list.'L to R) Tomasz Palyska, Kasia Borowska, Mirek Ksiezarek, Marta M. Anayat, Piotr Plonka, Beata Paciejuk, Karolina Osuchowska, Dawid Pastwik, Agata Niemira, Barbara Grudna.'w4981a116

Wakefield Polish Association outgrow their current base at the GMB office building, College Grove. The association currently gives English lessons to 60 people, with at least another 100 on the waiting list.'L to R) Tomasz Palyska, Kasia Borowska, Mirek Ksiezarek, Marta M. Anayat, Piotr Plonka, Beata Paciejuk, Karolina Osuchowska, Dawid Pastwik, Agata Niemira, Barbara Grudna.'w4981a116

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FOR two years dedicated volunteers at the Polish Community Association have helped families from the Eastern European country settle in the city.

It provides new residents with somewhere to turn for help with everything from registering with a doctor, to finding somewhere to live and getting children into local schools.

At the beginning of this year they moved from a temporary base at the Agbrigg and Belle Vue Community Centre to a permanent home at Grove Hall in College Grove Road.

The association uses the GMB Trade Union building at weekends as an office for advice sessions and members give free English lessons to 60 residents.

But with an estimated 4,000 Poles living in Wakefield, its success has resulted in more than 100 people being put on a waiting list as they struggle to cope with demand.

Now they hope to gain government grants so they can find somewhere to be based during the week.

Communications officer Andrzej Bugajski, 38, of Agbrigg said: “We do not want to rest on our achievements so are asking for help in finding and co-financing a building, because the organisation has expanded at such a dizzying pace, that two days a week is not sufficient.

“Moving here can be very emotional for a lot of Polish people as they adapt to their new surroundings.”

The group has helped house around 600 people and held joint Polish and Asian meetings to try and break down barriers between the two communities.

It also organises children’s days, festivals and talks as it aims to integrate Polish people into Yorkshire society

For more details visit www.association.wakefield.pl.